This is a little about myself and the reason I created the longest running LGBTQ+ Latin Dance Club in London...Exilio.
I came to England when I was 10 years old and I was brought up in a Catholic family, plus my father was in the military. I always knew that I felt something for women but I did not know what these feeling meant. As I got older I understood what I was feeling but my religious and Father's military background I had to suffer in silence as I was not able to proudly come out and say that I loved women and not men.
My father eventually found out the truth and this was a very difficult time in my life. I left home. I fell in love with a Colombian woman who I lived with for the next six years. I was very happy, young and one thing that bothered me was the fact that there were no Latin clubs for gays and lesbians at the time, this was back in 1996.
It was very frustrating to have to go to a Latin club and not be able to share the love of music and dancing with my girlfriend as we both had to dance with men. Due to this frustration I decided to create a club night where we could be who we were, to feel safe and to enjoy a Latin music and culture, hence Exilio was born.
This club night bring Latinos together, they feel at home and feel very safe.
In the year 2001 we started to participate in Pride London as a walking group, bringing our Latin music and culture to a wider audience, as the time moved on we started to move to floats and since then delivered the most exotic floats at Pride, from the music to production.
Why Support Exilio and Latinos Unidos at Pride in London.
Exilio is the only support that the LGBTQ+ Latin community has in London. Exilio and the LGBTQ Latin community, take part at London Pride Parade annually on a self-funding basis.
Exilio is a LGBT Latin dance club that has always supported Latinos at London Pride by creating a platform where the Latin community can feel accepted, acknowledge, to feel open and free and to be able to express who we are, we don't have this back at home, or not at least in the same level as we have it here in London.
Exilio and the Latin community at London Pride Parade promotes openness, we promote love, we are promoting life, dignity, human rights, we are promoting Latin culture, Latin music and Latin passion.
Our sole aim is to provide benefit to the Latin LGBTQ community, and we work hard to ensure that our participation at Pride delivers a true representation of the Latin community spirit in London from the entertainment to production.
For example, Exilio spent over £5,000 on power, sound and lighting, crew costs, production of the float, and that’s just a fraction of the overall costs of staging a float at London Pride event.
This is an event that we are very proud to take part in, but in today’s economic climate it isn’t a cheap proposition to produce as a self-funding event and we need your support.
With anticipated increases in float entry, wristband reductions, larger production, we face significant challenges. We aim to deliver a community float that is critically acclaimed and value for money.
Many people think that a float is so easy to put together, and year in and year out we have done this with a very small team.
7K does not even cover the time that we take to make the costumes, props, de-riging, the long hours and to make sure that we have a safe pride.
Costs that we need to cover
With the money raise we will be able to cover the following costs:
- Pride Large Float Joining Fee
- Truck Hire
- Safety Scaffolding Supply
- Large Sound System
- Onsite Mecanic
- av & generator technician on the day
- Banner Printing
- Flyers Printing
- Props for the float
- Festival Costumes
- Food and Drinks for the team and the walkers
- Website Design
- Flyer Design
- Float Design
- Make Up
- Project Management